Working closely with members of the California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus and other pro-equality legislators, Equality California sponsors and supports pro-equality state legislation in Sacramento. Together, we’ve enacted the strongest statewide civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ people in the nation. As of January 2020, Equality California has passed 150 state bills and resolutions advancing LGBTQ+ civil rights and social justice.
In 2017, Equality California opened a national policy office in Washington, DC, to represent LGBTQ+ Californians and our allies in the nation’s capital. We advocate for pro-equality legislation — including bills inspired by the legislation we’ve passed in Sacramento — and work hand-in-hand with California’s Congressional delegation.
AB 218 will codify and streamline the process for transgender Californians to update their marriage certificates and the birth certificates of their children to accurately reflect their legal name and gender, while protecting their privacy. Accurate and affirming identity documents are critical to preventing discrimination when, for example, enrolling a child in school, applying for a loan, or making medical decisions on behalf of an incapacitated spouse.
Status: Referred to the Assembly Committee on Judiciary and Assembly Committee on Health.
AB 245 will ensure that California’s public colleges and universities allow transgender and nonbinary former students to have their name and gender accuratenly reflected on their academic records, such as transcripts and diplomas. The bill also provides a standardized process for doing so. Students should not be ‘deadnamed’ – referred to by the name they were assigned at birth, rather than by their affirmed or chosen name – on their diplomas and other academic records that commemorate years of hard work and achievement. AB 245 builds upon AB 711 (Chiu), signed in 2019, which covered school districts, charter schools, and county offices of education.
Status: Referred to the Assembly Committee on Higher Education.
AB 439 adds “nonbinary” as an option for gender identity on death certificates. Codifying inclusive gender identity options on death certificates brings these documents in line with California’s existing nonbinary options on driver’s licenses and birth certificates. AB 439 continues the critical work started by Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins years ago to authorize nonbinary identification on birth certificates, court documents, and driver’s licenses (SB 179 in 2017), and to ensure that California respects people’s gender identity even after death (AB 1577 in 2014).
Status: Introduced in the Assembly.
AB 465 will ensure that professional fiduciaries are equipped to provide LGBTQ+ older adults and people with disabilities with supportive and respectful care by requiring LGBTQ+ cultural competency and sensitivity training during the education and licensing process. Private professional fiduciaries provide critical services to older adults and people with disabilities. They manage daily care, housing, and medical needs, and they offer financial management services ranging from basic bill payments to estate and investment management. LGBTQ+ older adults are a particularly vulnerable community and typically have fewer options for informal care and support. AB 465 will help to protect LGBTQ+ people as they age.
SB 110 (Wiener) will require Medi-Cal to cover contingency management (CM) programs, similar to how it covers other existing substance use disorder services. CM is a substance use disorder treatment that uses positive reinforcement to achieve behavioral change. CM has proven to be the most effective method of intervention for methamphetamine disorder. Because there is currently no form of medication-assisted treatment for methamphetamine use disorder, CM is a critical tool in addressing meth and other stimulant use. Meth use is a longstanding crisis in the LGBTQ+ community due to historical and ongoing stigma, shame, and marginalization. SB 110 is an important pillar in California’s response to this public health crisis.
Status: Referred to Senate Committee on Health.
SB 225 will delay specified medically unnecessary surgeries on children born with variations in their physical sex characteristics. This bill does not affect surgeries that are required to address an immediate risk of physical harm, and it does not remove parents or doctors from the medical decision-making process. The bill builds upon SCR 110 (Wiener), which in 2018 called on health professionals to foster the well-being and individuality of children born with variations in their physical sex characteristics and to heed international human rights guidelines and health authorities in the United States that caution against medically unnecessary surgical procedures that carry both a meaningful risk of harm and can be safely deferred.
Status: Referred to Senate Committee on Business, Professions & Economic Development and Senate Committee on Judiciary.
SB 258 includes older people with HIV as part of the population of “greatest social need” to ensure they have access to the programs and services administered by the California Department of Aging. With recent advancements in HIV treatment, people with HIV who take antiretroviral therapy can keep the virus suppressed and live long and healthy lives. For this reason, the number of older people living with HIV is increasing and over half of people living with HIV in California are now aged 50 years or older. Unfortunately, our current medical and social service systems are largely unprepared to address the unique needs of this population. Given the continued growth in the number of older people with HIV, it is imperative that California implement effective policies and programs to address their unique needs.
Status: Referred to Senate Committee on Human Services.
SB 379 ensures that University of California Health System (UC Health) contracts with healthcare facilities that allow UC staff practicing in those facilities to provide a full range of healthcare services, including reproductive and gender-affirming care. The University of California — like the State of California — has been a leader in protecting comprehensive reproductive and LGBTQ-inclusive care. But UC Health has entered into contracts with healthcare facilities that subject its providers to dangerous restrictions on comprehensive reproductive and LGBTQ-inclusive care. These types of harmful, non-clinical restrictions on care disproportionately impact patients of color and patients with low incomes, who already face tremendous barriers in our healthcare system.
Status: Introduced in the Senate
This budget proposal requests funds to promote the creation of an online training on school site and community resources for the support of LGBTQ+ pupils and strategies to increase support for LGBTQ+ pupils and thereby improve overall school climate. The training will be designed for use by teachers and other certificated employees in schools operated by a school district or county office of education and charter schools. This funding would continue California’s leadership in supporting safe and supportive school environments for LGBTQ+ youth.
Co-sponsored by nearly every member of California’s Congressional delegation, the Equality Act will provide federal civil rights protections to LGBTQ people across the country. Specifically, the Equality Act will amend existing federal civil rights laws — including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Jury Selection and Services Act — to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill will also amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination in public spaces and services and federally funded programs on the basis of sex.
Status: House floor vote expected on February 25, 2021. Introduced in the Senate.
This $1.9 trillion COVID response package buttresses earlier rounds of emergency relief and was crafted to get the pandemic under control and to mitigate its economic and social impact. It dramatically expands vaccine distribution and COVID testing, provides economic support to millions of people who lost their jobs because of the pandemic or were left out of earlier rounds, support for states and localities, schools, small businesses, renters, and extends federally financed employee sick leave. Additionally, the the bill includes $1,400 stimulus checks and expands the Child Tax Credit, the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Finally, the American Rescue Plan extends the 15% increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) through September 2021.
Status: The House and Senate passed concurrent resolutions setting forth the Congressional Budget for fiscal year 2021 and setting forth the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2022 through 2030 — kicking off the budget reconciliation process, through which Congressional committees can draft and the House and Senate can consider and pass the Biden-Harris Administration’s American Rescue Plan.
On the first day of the Biden-Harris Administration, President Biden sent the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 to Congress to restore humanity and American values to our immigration system and provide hardworking immigrants an opportunity to earn citizenship. The legislation modernizes our immigration system, and prioritizes keeping families together, growing our economy, responsibly managing the border with smart investments, addressing the root causes of migration from Central America and ensuring that the United States remains a refuge for those fleeing persecution — including many LGBTQ+ people who face discrimination, violence and lack of acceptance in their home countries. Under this proposal, discrimination against LGTBQ+ families and other categories of non-immigrants would be ended. It would also make many employment-based changes to stimulate economic growth. The proposal would make it easier for graduates of U.S. universities with advanced STEM degrees stay in the U.S., improve access to green cards for workers in lower-wage sectors, and eliminate other hurdles for employment-based green cards. While the plan would not expand the number of H-1B visas, it would provide dependents of H-1B visa holders work authorization and children would be prevented from “aging out” of the system. Finally, it would create a pilot program to stimulate regional economic development, give DHS the authority to adjust green cards based on macroeconomic conditions, and incentivize higher wages for non-immigrant, high-skilled visa holders.
Status: Introduced in the House and Senate.
Equality California will prioritize support of 14 bills and 2 proposed constitutional amendments focused on advancing racial justice that are currently pending in the California Legislature. Click HERE to view the package of racial justice bills and proposed constitutional amendments Equality California is supporting.
SB 932 will mandate the collection and reporting of sexual orientation and gender identity data for all COVID-19 patients in the State of California. The bill was introduced in early May 2020 in response to the state’s failure to collect data about the crisis’s impacts on the LGBTQ+ community — depriving both the government and LGBTQ+ community leaders of invaluable information needed to protect LGBTQ+ Californians. Because rates of respiratory issues (from smoking), HIV/AIDS, cancer, and homelessness are higher in the LGBTQ community, LGBTQ+ people are likely experiencing greater health impacts from COVID-19. Additionally, LGBTQ+ people are more likely to work in the service industry and in front-line jobs. SB 932 will allow healthcare providers and public health officials to understand rates of COVID-19 in the LGTBQ+ community, and help LGBTQ+ people get the resources and support they need. The bill is co-authored by all members of the California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus, as well as Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco). Equality California is the co-sponsor.
Status: Signed into law by Governor Newsom on September 26, 2020.
SB 145 will address the state’s discriminatory practice of treating LGBTQ+ young people differently than their non-LGBTQ+ peers when engaging in voluntary sexual activity. Currently, for example, if an 18-year-old boy has voluntary sex with his 17-year-old girlfriend, he isn’t automatically required to register as a sex offender. But if an 18-year-old boy has voluntary sex with his 17-year-old boyfriend or an 18-year-old girl has voluntary sex with her 17-year-old girlfriend, they’re automatically required to register as sex offenders, no matter the circumstances. SB 145 only applies when a teenager age 14 or older has consensual sex with a partner who is within 10 years of age. Equality California is cosponsoring SB 145 along with Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey.
Status: Signed into law by Governor Newsom on September 11, 2020.
SB 132 addresses a very real problem facing incarcerated transgender individuals, namely, transgender people being housed according to their birth-assigned gender, not their gender identity or perception of safety, resulting in significant risk of violence. Transgender women housed in male facilities face particular risk of rape and assault. SB 132 will change state law to require incarcerated transgender people in the custody of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation be classified and housed based on their gender identity, unless the incarcerated person’s evaluation of their own safety is that another housing placement is safest. SB 132 also requires that the preferred first name, gender pronoun and honorific of the incarcerated individual be used by facility staff in all written and verbal communications. By housing incarcerated transgender people based on their gender identity or perception of health and safety, transgender people will be housed in institutions that decrease their likelihood of experiencing targeting and violence, and they will have access to the programming and work opportunities that will best promote and support their health and safety.
SB 741 will update the law to allow transgender Californians to update their marriage certificates and the birth certificates of their children to accurately reflect their legal name and gender, while still protecting their privacy. Current state law allows transgender people to petition courts to change their legal name and gender to conform with their gender identity. The law then allows such a person’s old birth certificate to be sealed and a new one issued as an original to protect the person’s privacy and respect their identity. This legislation would simply align the process for updating transgender people’s marriage certificates and the birth certificates of their children with the process for updating their own birth certificate. This will help to prevent discrimination when a transgender person enrolls their child in school, applies for a loan or seeks to make medical decisions on behalf of an incapacitated spouse.
Status: Vetoed by Governor Newsom on September 29, 2020, due to an inadvertent drafting error that did not allow sufficient time for implementation. Gov. Newsom supports the policy goal and will work with Equality California to pass this legislation in 2021.
The Equal Insurance HIV Act would stop insurance companies from denying life and disability income insurance coverage based solely on a customer’s HIV status. The bill would enact anti-discrimination protections in life and disability income insurance products for those living with HIV by banning HIV discrimination to ensure they have equal access to the coverage they deserve. Today, with the access to health care, advancement in HIV testing, and more effective treatment, a person who is HIV positive and undergoes and remains on treatment can live a long healthy life. HIV status is treated by medical professionals like any other treatable chronic condition. But California’s outdated insurance laws haven’t been updated. This bill would help to eliminate stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV, a key step toward ending the HIV epidemic.
SB 201 will protect the rights of intersex Californians — “intersex” being a term used for people born with variations in their sex characteristics — by ensuring they can provide informed consent before medically unnecessary, often irreversible and potentially harmful procedures are performed on them. SB 201, at its core, is about giving people born with variations in their sex characteristics autonomy over their own bodies. The bill does not prohibit treatment or surgery when it is medically necessary; it will simply delay elective surgeries often performed on babies in an attempt to “normalize” their bodies until they have the ability to make their own informed decision. Equality California is cosponsoring SB 201 along with interACT and the ACLU of California.
Status: Failed passage in the Senate Committee on Business, Professions, and Economic Development 2-4.
Status: Passed by the House 236-173 with bipartisan support. Awaiting consideration by the Senate.
Co-sponsored by nearly every member of California’s Congressional delegation, the DREAM and American Promise Act of 2019 will give immigrants who arrived in the United States before their 18th birthday and before Dec 31, 2016, an opportunity to apply for permanent legal status if they meet certain requirements. The legislation will also provide relief for recipients of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) recipients. The Trump-Pence Administration has sought to cancel and restrict these programs, putting millions of LGBTQ immigrants across California and the United States — immigrants who attend school here, work here and pay taxes here — at risk. Of the 200,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients in the State of California, Equality California estimates that as many as 20,000 identify as LGBTQ.
Status: Passed by the House 237-187 with bipartisan support. Awaiting consideration by the Senate.
The DREAM Act of 2019 will give immigrants who arrived in the United States before their 18th birthday and before Dec. 31, 2016, an opportunity to apply for permanent legal status if they meet certain requirements. Of the 200,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients in the State of California, Equality California estimates that as many as 20,000 identify as LGBTQ.
Status: Introduced in the Senate.
More than 440,000 children are in the foster care system, of whom one in five identify as LGBTQ. LGBTQ foster youth suffer worse outcomes in care, including longer stays in residential care rather than with families, greater rates of multiple placements, criminal justice involvement, hospitalization for emotional reasons, and being trafficked. This proposal would prohibit federally funded child welfare service providers from discriminating against children, families, and individuals based on religion, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity; ban conversion therapy for foster youth; require data collection on LGBTQ foster youth and parents; and require federally funded child welfare to be affirming of foster children’s complex social identities, including their sexual orientation and gender identity.
The so-called gay and trans “panic” defense is a legal strategy which asks a jury to find that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity is to blame for the defendant’s violent reaction, including murder. It is not a free-standing defense to criminal liability, but rather a legal tactic which is used to bolster other defenses. When the defense is employed, the perpetrator claims that their victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity not only explains – but excuses – their loss of self-control and subsequent assault. By fully or partially acquitting the perpetrators of crimes against LGBTQ+ victims, these defenses imply that LGBTQ+ lives are worth less than others. Equality California sponsored and passed the first state law banning these defenses with then-Attorney General Kamala Harris and Assemblymember Susan Bonilla in 2014. Our Nevada-based program Silver State Equality helped to pass a similar state law banning these defenses in 2019.
This bill would make it easier to hold police officers accountable through criminal charges and civil penalties; ban chokeholds and carotid holds at the federal level and incentivize state and local bans; ban no-knock warrants in drug-related cases, like the one that resulted in the murder of Breonna Taylor; create a national registry to track police misconduct and abuse; mandate training on racial, religious, and discriminatory profiling for all law enforcement; require law enforcement to collect data on all investigatory activities; require that deadly force be used only as a last resort and require officers to employ de-escalation techniques first; limit the transfer of military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement; require federal uniformed police officers to wear body cameras and marked federal police vehicles to have dashboard cameras. It would also grant the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division subpoena power and help state attorneys general investigate problematic police departments. And the bill would establish public safety innovation grants to help communities to develop concrete, just and equitable public safety approaches.
Status: Passed by the House 236-181 with bipartisan support.
This bill would make lynching a federal hate crime and therefore eligible for the additional federal tools and resources used to investigate and prosecute hate crimes. The legislation is named after Emmett Till, a Black 14-year-old boy who was lynched — kidnapped, brutally beaten and shot to death — in Mississippi in 1955 after he was accused of whistling at a White woman in the grocery store.
Status: Passed unanimously by the Senate on February 14, 2019. Passed by the House 410-4 on February 26, 2020. Because of minor differences between the two versions, H.R. 35 must be passed by the Senate before it is sent to the president’s desk.
This bill would require private and public companies selling life insurance, disability insurance, and long-term care insurance plans to cover pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), with no out-of-pocket costs for patients. It would prohibit these companies from denying coverage or charging higher premiums for people taking PrEP. It would provide grants to help physicians and other providers better understand of PrEP and the recommended clinical practices. And it would fund a public education campaign to reduce disparities in access to and use of PrEP through education—particularly in high-need communities in which PrEP is underutilized—about the safety and efficacy of the drug and to combat stigma surrounding PrEP usage.
This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to provide for equal treatment of same sex married couples. It permits such couples to amend their filing status to married filing jointly for tax returns outside of the statute of limitations and modifies tax rules relating to married couples to include same sex couples.
Status: Passed in the House and introduced in the Senate.
This proposal would restore abortion coverage to women who receive health care or insurance through the federal government by repealing the “Hyde Amendment,” and would prohibit state or local governments from restricting coverage of abortion by private health insurance plans.
WHPA would protect health care providers’ ability to deliver abortion services free from medically unnecessary and onerous restrictions, such as needless waiting periods, burdensome admitting privilege requirements for providers, or unnecessary medical procedures, like ultrasounds.
Status: Introduced in the House and Senate
This proposal would allow qualified Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) recipients to apply for legal permanent residency in the United States.
A top priority for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the For the People Act will protect voting rights, reduce the influence of big money in politics and strengthen ethics rules for federal officials.
Status: Passed by the House 234-193. Awaiting consideration by the Senate.
Co-sponsored by nearly every member of California’s Congressional Delegation, the commonsense Bipartisan Background Checks Act will require background checks on all firearm sales, helping to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and closing the dangerous loopholes that currently allow the no-questions-asked sale of weapons at gun shows and online. Enacting gun safety reforms at the federal level is a top priority for Equality California. LGBTQ people and our allies are often the targets of bias-motivated gun violence.
Status: Passed by the House 240-190. Introduced in the Senate.
This bipartisan proposal would protect the rights of qualified transgender servicemembers to enlist and serve openly in the military.
This non-binding resolution expresses opposition to President Trump’s transgender military ban and urges the Department of Defense not to move forward with its implementation and to instead maintain an inclusive policy allowing qualified transgender servicemembers to enlist and serve openly in the military.
Status: Passed by the House 238-185.
The Do No Harm Act will clarify that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993’s original intent was to protect religious exercise but could not be used to violate civil rights by using the justification of religious exemptions.
This bill would direct the Federal Trade Commission to treat the advertising of so-called “conversion therapy” as a fraudulent medical practice. In 2012, Congressman Lieu authored SB 1172, sponsored by Equality California, which became the first statewide law to protect LGBTQ minors from so-called “conversion therapy.” Since that time, 18 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico have enacted similar bans.
Status: Introduced in the House.
This proposal would amend Title XIX of the Social Security Act to prohibit payments under the Medicaid program for the dangerous, discredited practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” Such practices don’t work, aren’t needed and cause lifelong psychological harm.
This bipartisan bill gives states additional funding to prosecute sexual and domestic violence offenders and enables states to qualify for money to provide critical services to victims who are members of groups that are disproportionately targeted, including Native Americans, immigrants and members of the LGBTQ community. The bill also reauthorizes the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, providing critical support for victims of human trafficking and helping to bring those responsible to justice.
Status: Passed by the House 263-158.
This LGBTQ+ inclusive bill would prohibit racial profiling, mandate federal law enforcement training, data collection and condition funding for federal, state and local governments on the adoption of policies that prohibit racial profiling. It would also provide grants for best policing practices and require the U.S. Attorney General to provide periodic reports on any ongoing discriminatory profiling practices.
Across the country, police officers continue to escape accountability when they break the law, shielded from liability by the doctrine of qualified immunity. This bill would explicitly state that the qualified immunity doctrine invented by the U.S. Supreme Court does not provide police officers that brutalize or otherwise violate civil rights with defense or immunity from civil liability for their actions.
This resolution urges the U.S. Department of Justice to cease its efforts to undermine the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). It also urges the Department of Justice to reverse its position in Texas v. United States, a lawsuit brought by 18 Republican state attorneys general and two Republican governors seeking to render the entire law unconstitutional. The Department of Justice has refused to defend the constitutionality of the ACA in court and has submitted briefs in support of a federal judge’s ruling that the entire law is unconstitutional, including critical protections for people with pre-existing conditions, the expansion of Medicaid and other provisions that help provide access to quality healthcare.
Status: Passed by the House 240-186.
The Ruthie and Connie LGBT Elder Americans Act would designate LGBTQ older people and seniors living with HIV as a group of “greatest social need” target population under the federal Older Americans Act — the nation’s primary vehicle for the organization and delivery of social and nutritional programs for older people, such as Meals on Wheels. It also would require data collection regarding LGBTQ seniors and permanently reauthorize the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, the country’s only technical assistance resource center aimed at improving the quality of services and support for LGBTQ seniors.
This proposal would amend the Older Americans Act of 1965 to establish the Office of Inclusivity and Sexual Health and a rural outreach grant program.
This bipartisan proposal would create and expand services to address sexual healthcare for older Americans and the diverse needs of LGBTQ older people, in particular. The bill would establish a federal Office of Inclusivity and Sexual Health in the Administration on Aging and reauthorize the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, the country’s only technical assistance resource center aimed at improving the quality of services and support for LGBTQ seniors.
This proposal would amend the Jury Selection and Services Act to provide explicit protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in the process of federal jury selection — helping to ensure that both plaintiffs and defendants have access to a fair trial by a jury of their peers. Federal law prohibits discrimination in service on a federal jury based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin and economic status, but does not explicitly prohibit attorneys from discriminating against people because of their stated or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
This proposal would reinstate U.S. leadership in protection and promoting LGBTI rights around the world by codifying Obama Administration tools (issuing LGBTI-specific human rights reports, an interagency focus group on LGBTI issues, and appointing a Special Envoy for LGBTI Human Rights) ; Using existing sanctions to punish countries that abuse LGBTI people; Ensuring that U.S. foreign assistance and global health programs are inclusive of LGBTI populations; Decriminalizing LGBTI status, conduct, or expression in rule-of-law programs; and Ensuring fair access to asylum and refugee programs for LGBTI people who face persecution because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Status: Introduced in the House
This proposal would direct the Department of State to create a permanent “Special Envoy on the Human Rights of LGBTI People” position to coordinate all federal programs for the defense of human rights for the LGBTQ community internationally and to prevent and respond to discrimination and violence against LGBTQ people around the world.
These bicameral, bipartisan bills would authorize $750 million in grants annually for the next five years for local governments to combat homelessness. For the first time, it would condition federal funds on a grant recipient’s ability to provide not only housing, but also comprehensive services like mental healthcare, substance abuse treatment and job training.
This proposal would block the “Citizenship Question” from appearing on the 2020 Census and mandate a three-year review process for each question proposed to the decennial census so that all lines of inquiry undergo proper vetting and testing before being added to the Census.
This bill seeks to limit presidential power and increase accountability under the Immigration and Nationality Act by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religion and national origin whenever a president suspends the entry of individuals into the United States.
This proposal would reduce family immigration visa backlogs and promote humane and timely reunification of immigrant families by recapturing unused visas lost over the past two decades, increases per-country limits, increase the number of diversity visas, and prevent children from aging out and losing their place in line due to bureaucratic delays. The LGBTQ-inclusive bill would help same-sex and interfaith bi-national couples where one individual lives in a country that does not recognize their marriage by allowing refugees and asylum seekers who are unable to marry in their home countries to be resettled together and allows partners of asylum grantees to join them in the U.S. It also extends acquired automatic citizenship to children with at least one U.S. citizen parent, regardless of a biological relationship to that parent. This provision applies to children born through Assisted Reproductive Technology and children adopted within the first year of their life.
This proposal would restore funding for Affordable Care Act education, marketing, and outreach efforts so that providers and navigators can educate Americans about open enrollment dates, coverage options, and financial support available to the public.
Status: Passed the House by 234-183. Awaiting consideration by the Senate.
This proposal would ensure that the Trump administration fully funds outreach, marketing and education efforts to promote health insurance coverage offered on the federal Health Insurance Marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act.
This proposal seeks to block the Trump Administration from allowing insurance companies to sell junk healthcare policies by prohibiting the implementation of the Trump Administration’s 1332 waivers to Affordable Care Act requirements.
Status: Passed by the House 230-183. Awaiting consideration by the Senate.
This proposal would prohibit any federal funds from going to Planned Parenthood or any Planned Parenthood Federation of America affiliate for one year, unless it certifies that no abortions will be performed (except in the cases of rape, incest or to prevent the death of the mother) and redirect the funds to Community Health Centers.
AB 493 will require the California Department of Education to develop resources and a model training for school districts to provide teachers and staff with the tools they need — and want — to support LGBTQ students who may be facing harassment or lack of acceptance at school, rejection at home or discrimination in the broader community. LGBTQ students have higher dropout rates than their non-LGBTQ peers and continue to report missing school because of safety concerns at higher rates than non-LGBTQ students. Public school teachers and staff are on the front lines of providing a safety net against the effects of discrimination and lack of acceptance for the LGBTQ community, which can result in higher dropout rates, lower economic success and a number of other disparities in health and well-being that LGBTQ people continue to face. If LGBTQ students have support in school, their likelihood of overcoming these disparities and succeeding in school and life increases significantly. Equality California is cosponsoring AB 493 along with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond.
Status: Signed into law by Governor Newsom on October 12, 2019.
SB 159 will reduce barriers to accessing HIV preventative medications. This legislation will authorize pharmacists to furnish pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to patients without a prescription. Pharmacists are already authorized to furnish birth control pills without a prescription. The legislation will also prohibit insurance companies from requiring patients to obtain prior authorization before using their insurance benefits to obtain PrEP or PEP. Equality California is cosponsoring SB 159 along with the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, California Pharmacists Association and California Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists.
Status: Signed into law by Governor Newsom on October 7, 2019.
SB 495 will add language to the California Family Code to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity of a parent, legal guardian or relative when granting custody of a child. While there are examples of California case law to the effect that “sexual preference” should not affect child custody determinations, this language is outdated, unclear and has not been codified within the California Family Code. This lack of clear and comprehensive policy allows local Family Court mediators, investigators, and judges to make recommendations and rulings based on their own biases about how sexuality and gender may impact the “well-being of the child.” All parents deserve the right to be considered in matters of custody without their sexual orientation or gender identity being used against them. Equality California is cosponsoring SB 495 with the Women’s Policy Institute and the Long Beach Bar Association.
AB 711 will ensure that local educational agencies in California update the records of former students who identify as transgender, making certain that their legal name and gender are accurately reflected on critical documents like high school diplomas and school transcripts. This includes reissuing high school diplomas and high school equivalency certificates, as needed. This bill seeks to close a gap in current law to ensure that all transgender people who have attended California educational institutions have the same rights and protections. Equality California is cosponsoring AB 711 with Transgender Law Center.
Status: Signed into law by Governor Newsom on August 30, 2019.
AB 785 will streamline the transfer of important donor medical history information for families and donor-conceived individuals. This legislation also aligns the existing state codes to match the federal Food and Drug Administration’s regulations for tissue transfers.
SB 145 will address the state’s discriminatory practice of treating LGBTQ young people differently than their non-LGBTQ peers when engaging in voluntary sexual activity. Currently, for example, if an 18-year-old boy has voluntary sex with his 17-year-old girlfriend, he isn’t automatically required to register as a sex offender. But if an 18-year-old boy has voluntary sex with his 17-year-old boyfriend or an 18-year-old girl has voluntary sex with her 17-year-old girlfriend, they’re automatically required to register as sex offenders, no matter the circumstances. SB 145 only applies when a teenager age 14 or older has consensual sex with a partner who is within 10 years of age. Equality California is cosponsoring SB 145 along with Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey.
Status: Passed by the Senate 25-3. Passed by the Assembly Committee on Public Safety 6-2. Converted to a two-year bill by the Assembly Committee on Appropriations, to be considered in 2020.
Status: Testimony heard by the Senate Committee on Business, Professions, and Economic Development on Monday, April 1. Converted to a two-year bill, to be considered in 2020.
Status: Passed by the Senate 29-8 with bipartisan support. Passed by the Assembly Committee on Public Safety 5-1. Passed by the Assembly Committee on Appropriations 11-5. Converted to a two-year bill, to be considered in 2020.
AB 307 will require the development and administration of a grant program that would, primarily, support nonprofit organizations or continuum of care administrative entities in serving youth experiencing homelessness. Funding will go toward an array of supportive services, including rental assistance, drug abuse prevention, health care and employment assistance. All programs funded under AB 307 will be required to have the cultural competence to serve youth who identify as LGBTQ. Equality California is cosponsoring AB 307 along with the California Coalition for Youth, Tipping Point Community, John Burton Advocates for Youth, Housing CA and Corporation for Supportive Housing.
Status: Passed by the Assembly 74-0 with bipartisan support. Passed by the Senate Committee on Human Services 6-0 with bipartisan support. Passed by the Senate Committee on Housing 10-0 with bipartisan support. Held by the Senate Committee on Appropriations.
Status: Passed by the Senate 30-8 with bipartisan support. Passed by the Assembly Committee on the Judiciary 9-2. Referred to the Committee on Health. Converted to a two-year bill, to be considered in 2020.
AB 650 will enhance data available regarding the LGBTQ community. Research suggests that LGBTQ people are at much higher risk of becoming victims of violent crimes than non-LGBTQ people, and multiple studies — including studies by our cosponsor the Trevor Project — have shown that LGBTQ adolescents are at three times the risk of suicide as their non-LGBTQ peers. Accurate and comprehensive mortality statistics can inform policy to reduce preventable deaths and improve quality of life for all LGBTQ people. Equality California is cosponsoring AB 650 with the Trevor Project.
Status: Passed by the Assembly Committee on Health 15-0 and the Assembly Committee on Public Safety 8-0. Held by the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.
AB 758 will strengthen California’s equal pay laws by requiring that employees of all genders are paid equitably to their counterparts for substantially similar work. This bill will also address unjustified workplace pay differentials for employees who do not conform to the gender binary. California’s Equal Pay Act prohibits employers from paying an employee less than an employee of “the opposite sex” for substantially similar work. AB 758 will update the California Equal Pay Act’s outdated binary language to align with the Gender Recognition Act of 2017 (SB 179, Atkins), which enabled Californians to obtain state issued identity documents that reflect their gender identity by creating a third, nonbinary gender marker.
Status: Passed by the Assembly Committee on Labor & Employment 7-0 and the Assembly Committee on the Judiciary 9-2. Held by the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.
ACR 27 honors the legacy of civil rights, labor and LGBTQ leader Bayard Rustin. Born on March 17, 1912 in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Rustin dedicated his entire life to advancing justice and dignity for all. He was a close advisor to Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., organized the historic 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and promoted equity through nonviolent protests. An openly gay African American, Rustin understood the intricate intersections of marginalized identities and fought tirelessly for progress and opportunity. His extraordinary efforts promoted unity and transformed the landscape of activism.
Status: Adopted by the Legislature on March 19, 2019.
Introduced by members of the Legislative LGBT Caucus and the Legislative Black Caucus, HR 12 and SR 15 proclaimed February 7, 2019 as Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in California in order to encourage greater awareness, education, community engagement, and treatment. Equality California cosponsored HR 12 and SR 15 with the California State NAACP.
Status: HR 12 adopted by the Assembly and SR 15 adopted by the Senate on February 7, 2019.
Equality California sponsored the following state legislation in 2018:
Child welfare agencies are required to assess the health needs of all young people in foster care, and to ensure they receive appropriate and timely care to address the needs identified by qualified professionals. This bill makes clear that, to meet this obligation for transgender and gender nonconforming youth, child welfare agencies must ensure access to clinicians who provide gender-affirming treatment consistent with established standards of care. Equality California is cosponsoring this bill along with the ACLU of California, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Lambda Legal, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown on September 14, 2018.
LGBTQ people face higher rates of hate crimes and incidents, bias-based violence, harassment at the hands of law enforcement, and discrimination within the criminal justice system compared to the general population. AB 2504 requires the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (CPOST) to develop LGBTQ-specific training for peace officers and dispatchers. Improving peace officers’ ability to communicate with and serve members of the LGBTQ community will assist them in responding appropriately to situations that involve LGBTQ people, with understanding and acceptance. AB 2504 will not only educate peace officers about the LGBTQ community and build more inclusive working environments, it will create new opportunities for dialog between law enforcement officers and the marginalized communities they serve.
Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown on September 30, 2018.
Four out of ten young people experiencing homelessness in California’s major cities identify as LGBTQ. SB 918 will help provide resources for housing, services and supports for youth experiencing homelessness and tasks the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council (Council) with oversight. Under SB 918, the Council will be responsible for setting statewide goals and outcome measures and evaluating the effectiveness of programs in reaching those goals to meet the needs of young people experiencing homelessness. Equality California is cosponsoring this bill with California Coalition for Youth, the Corporation for Supportive Housing, Housing California, John Burton Advocates for Youth, and Tipping Point.
Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown on September 27, 2018.
AB 2490 eliminates fees charged to people experiencing homelessness seeking to obtain certified birth certificates directly from the state. Many Californians experiencing homelessness live in counties that are not the county of their birth, and some may be unsure of their county of birth. LGBTQ young people experiencing homelessness in particular often travel to major California cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles to find acceptance, which could be a long distance from their county of birth. For some of these individuals, communicating with or even locating their county of birth to request a birth certificate is a significant hurdle. LGBTQ young people are particularly likely to be experiencing homelessness as a result of family rejection, which can make it unsafe for them to return to their former homes to gain access to their identifying documents.
Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown on September 19, 2018.
This bill requires jail and prison employees to refer to transgender individuals by their preferred gender pronouns and names, and ensures that transgender people placed in solitary confinement for their own protection have access to programming, services, and work opportunities despite being in solitary confinement or otherwise separated from the general population. Transgender women, in particular, are often housed in male prison facilities and thus at great risk of victimization. They are frequently placed in solitary confinement, not for any transgression but rather for their own safety, and thus deprived of access to various prison services and work opportunities. Equality California is cosponsoring this bill with the ACLU of California and Lambda Legal.
Status: Held in Assembly Appropriations Committee.
This bill will ensure that LGBTQ older adults are recognized as a population in need of special attention, and that they can access the services and support they need to maintain their health and live their lives with dignity. Equality California is cosponsoring this bill with SAGE.
Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown on August 24, 2018.
This bill requires schools to review and, if necessary, update their student suicide prevention policies at a minimum of every five years. These policies already need to include a focus on high-risk populations, including LGBTQ youth, under existing law. AB 2639 will ensure that these policies are reviewed regularly and kept up-to-date. Equality California is cosponsoring this bill with the Trevor Project.
A previous version of this bill would have established standards for online training on suicide prevention for teachers and school staff to prepare them to assist young people when they need support most. That legislative language was successfully incorporated into California’s 2018-19 budget, which Governor Brown signed on June 27, 2018
Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown on September 17, 2018.
AB 2291 requires public schools to provide online training annually on the dynamics of bullying and cyberbullying to teachers and school staff. It would also require the California Department of Education to post this online training module along with other available online trainings to its internet website. Equality California is cosponsoring this bill with the Advancement Project California, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – California, and Council on American-Islamic Relations, California.
Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown on September 18, 2018.
The LGBTQ Family Law Modernization Act of 2018 would modernize and eliminate significant inequalities in California family law to ensure that LGBTQ parents and their children have access to the same protections as any other families. Equality California is cosponsoring this bill with the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown on September 28, 2018.
This bill would provide retroactive relief to individuals who were registered as domestic partners in municipal jurisdictions and may have had their property taxes increased due to the death of a partner. AB 2663 seeks to bring equity to locally registered domestic partners who may not have registered with the state during a certain time period and ensure they can continue to afford their homes.
Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown on September 29, 2018.
AB 1985 will help empower local communities to reduce rates of hate crimes. This bill provides guidance for local law enforcement agencies to update and strengthen their policies on hate crimes, focusing on recognizing hate crimes when they have occurred, engaging in appropriate response given the targeted community and the broader community, and fostering a community environment that prevents future hate crimes and incidents from occurring. Equality California is cosponsoring this bill with The Arc and United Cerebral Palsy in California.
Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown on June 13, 2018.
Private professional fiduciaries provide critical services to older adults and people with disabilities, including daily care, housing and medical needs, and financial management services ranging from basic bill payments to estate and investment management. This bill will give professional fiduciaries the training they need to provide culturally competent services for their LGBTQ clients.
Status: Vetoed by Governor Brown on September 22, 2018.
This bill will provide California schools with resources to support LGBTQ students and create safer school environments. LGBTQ students have higher dropout rates than their non-LGBTQ peers and continue to report missing school because of safety concerns at higher rates than non-LGBTQ students. This legislation will give teachers and school staff the training they need to provide culturally competent support for students who may be facing harassment or lack of acceptance at school, rejection at home, or discrimination in the broader community. Schools are on the front line of providing a safety net against the effects of discrimination and lack of acceptance for the LGBTQ community, which can result in higher dropout rates, lower economic success, higher rates of homelessness, higher rates of substance abuse and suicide, and all the disparities in health and well-being that LGBTQ people face. If LGBTQ students have support in school, their likelihood of overcoming these disparities and succeeding later in life increases significantly.
Status: Vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown on September 30, 2018.
For far too long, LGBTQ people have suffered psychological abuse by those who are entrusted to care for their emotional and psychological well-being. These dangerous practices, often referred to as “conversion therapy,” have no sound scientific basis and can cause lifelong damage. This bill would make clear in California statute that claiming to be able to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity is a fraudulent business practice that misleads consumers and exposes LGBTQ people to damaging psychological abuse. Equality California is cosponsoring this bill with the Trevor Project.
Status: Passed by the Assembly and Senate. Held in the Assembly prior to concurrence vote.
For more information about AB 2943 — including a list of supporters and frequently asked questions — please visit eqca.org/AB2943.
This resolution calls upon the medical community to discontinue medically unnecessary, nonconsensual, and often irreparably harmful sex assignment and genital “normalization” surgeries on intersex infants at birth. Instead, an intersex individual should decide for themselves whether to pursue surgery at all, at an age when informed consent is possible. Equality California is cosponsoring this resolution with interACT.
Status: Adopted by the Legislature on August 28, 2018.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an antiretroviral medication that has been shown to be safe and effective in reducing the risk of acquiring HIV among people who are at high risk of acquiring the virus. PrEP is estimated to be over 90 percent effective at preventing HIV infection, but only about 12 percent of the 1.2 million Americans at high risk for HIV exposure are using PrEP. This resolution recognizes August 16, 2018, as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Awareness Day in California to enhance public awareness of PrEP and PEP.
Status: Adopted by the Legislature on August 23, 2018.
This resolution designates the month of May as National Foster Care Month in the State of California and calls on all Californians to observe the month by recognizing the extraordinary role that LGBTQ parents play in the foster care system, as well as the unique challenges confronting LGBTQ foster youth. Equality California is cosponsoring SCR 137 with Family Equality Council.
Status: Adopted by the Legislature on May 29, 2018.
Throughout his career, Secretary Pompeo has been a staunch opponent of LGBTQ equality, opposing the Violence Against Women Act and the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and cosponsoring multiple bills during his service in the U.S. House of Representatives that would have slowed the spread of marriage equality and provided a ‘license to discriminate’ against the LGBTQ community. He refused to disavow those positions during his Senate confirmation hearing, making it clear that he was unfit to advocate for the United States’ key role as a vocal proponent of LGBTQ human rights around the world — in an Administration that has sought to scale back our moral leadership in the advancement of human rights.
Even before credible allegations of sexual misconduct and assault were made against then-Judge Kavanaugh, Equality California strongly opposed his nomination to the Supreme Court on the basis of his judicial record, in which he demonstrated hostility to the Affordable Care Act, reproductive freedom, common-sense gun safety laws and hard-won legal protections for LGBTQ people and the diverse communities to which we belong. Equality California ramped up our opposition to Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination in the wake of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s decision to come forward and share her story with the nation, as his confirmation was inconsistent with our commitment to ending our societal culture of sexual assault, harassment and misconduct.
The Equality Act would provide federal civil rights protections to LGBTQ people across the country. Specifically, the Equality Act would have amended existing federal civil rights laws — including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Jury Selection and Services Act — to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill also would have amended the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination in public spaces and services and federally funded programs on the basis of sex.
Status: H.R. 2282 referred to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice. S. 1006 read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
This bipartisan proposal would give immigrants who arrived in the United States before their 18th birthday and before Dec 31, 2016, an opportunity to apply for permanent legal status if they meet certain requirements.
Status: H.R. 3440 referred to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security. S. 1615 read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
This proposal would have directed the Federal Trade Commission to treat the advertising of so-called “conversion therapy” as a fraudulent medical practice. In 2012, Congressman Lieu authored SB 1172, sponsored by Equality California, which became the first statewide law to protect LGBTQ minors from so-called “conversion therapy.” Since that time, six additional states and several municipalities have enacted similar bans.
Status: H.R. 2119 referred to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection. S. 928 read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
This proposal would have clarified that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993’s original intent was to protect religious exercise but could not be used to violate civil rights by using the justification of religious exemptions.
Status: H.R. 3222 referred to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice. S. 2918 read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
This proposal would have explicitly prohibited public schools from discriminating against any student on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. It also would have protected students who associate with LGBTQ people, including students with LGBTQ parents or friends.
Status: H.R. 5374 referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. S. 2584 read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
This proposal would have required schools to implement comprehensive anti-bullying and harassment policies that ensure the safety and well-being of all their students, including youth who are bullied or harassed on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
Status: H.R. 1957 referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. S. 2572 read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
This proposal would have reduced ethnic and racial disparities in access to healthcare and outcomes and is powerfully “holistic” in that it includes sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, language, immigration status, age, disability, and socio-economic status.
Status: H.R. 5942 referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committees on Ways and Means, Agriculture, Education and the Workforce, the Budget, the Judiciary, Veterans’ Affairs, Armed Services, and Natural Resources. S. 3660 read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.
This proposal would have prohibited any entity that receives federal child welfare funds from discriminating against prospective adoptive or foster parents on the bases of their sexual orientation, gender identification, or marital status, or on the bases of the sexual orientation or gender identity of the child involved.
Status: H.R. 2640 referred to the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources. S. 1303 read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.
This proposal would have ensured that the U.S. Census Bureau has the funding necessary to conduct a fair, accurate and constitutionally mandated decennial census.
Status: Referred to the House Committee on Appropriations.
This proposal would have repealed existing policies that encourage and allow discrimination against people living with HIV. It also would have directed the U.S. Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services and Defense to initiate a national review of federal and state laws, policies, regulations and judicial precedents and decisions regarding criminal and related civil commitment cases involving people living with HIV.
Status: H.R. 1739 referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committees on Energy and Commerce and Armed Services. S. 2186 read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
This proposal would have sought to eliminate law enforcement profiling on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity.
Status: H.R. 1498 referred to the House Judiciary Subcommittees on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations and on the Constitution and Civil Justice. S. 411 read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
All 2017 Legislation
EQCA took the following positions on federal legislation and nominations in 2017:
When appointed by President Trump to serve as U.S. Attorney General, then-Senator Jeff Sessions already had a long, well-documented history of opposing civil rights for LGBTQ people, women, immigrants and communities of color. He was a co-sponsor of the so-called “First Amendment Defense Act,” which would have given businesses, landlords and even government agencies a “license to discriminate” against LGBTQ people based on their own personal beliefs. He was a longtime supporter of efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban marriage equality, opposed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and lead the fight against federal legislation to protect LGBTQ people from hate crimes. He has repeatedly opposed the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and famously called a Black attorney “boy” and suggested that a white attorney representing black clients was a “race traitor” — comments that disqualified him from serving as a federal judge in 1986. Equality California joined every major civil rights, reproductive rights and LGBTQ organization in the country in opposing Sessions’ confirmation.
Then-Judge Gorsuch first gained national attention for his opinions in two federal cases in which he supported an employer’s right to refuse to pay for reproductive healthcare as part of employee health coverage if doing so violated the employer’s own personal beliefs. Such judicial opinions represent a clear and immediate threat to LGBTQ civil rights and social justice. Additionally, Gorsuch was a strong opponent of workers’ rights and the rights of people with disabilities. For all of these reasons and more, Equality California strongly opposed Gorsuch’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court.
This bill would have repealed key elements of the Affordable Care Act, a program that has provided affordable, robust healthcare coverage for millions of LGBTQ Californians, and made it possible for many to receive healthcare insurance or the first time. This Republican-led bill would also have stripped federal funding for Planned Parenthood, a vital program that provides healthcare services for millions of LGBTQ people across the country.
Status: Passed in the House 217-213 but failed in the Senate 49-51.
This virulently anti-trans amendment to the annual defense appropriations bill would have prohibited military funds being used for transgender servicemembers needing medical treatment related to gender transition, including hormone therapy.
Status: Failed in the House 209-214.
This bipartisan proposal would give immigrants who arrived in the United States before their 18th birthday and before Dec 31, 2016, an opportunity to apply for permanent legal status if they meet certain requirements. The Trump-Pence Administration has sought to cancel the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, putting millions of LGBTQ immigrants across California and the United States — immigrants who attend school here, work here and pay taxes here — at risk. Of the 200,000 DACA recipients in the State of California, Equality California estimates that as many as 20,000 identify as LGBTQ.
This proposal would have directed the Federal Trade Commission to treat the advertising of so-called “conversion therapy” as a fraudulent medical practice. In 2012, Congressman Lieu authored SB 1172, sponsored by Equality California, which became the first statewide law to protect LGBTQ minors from so-called “conversion therapy.” Since that time, six additional states and several municipalities have enacted similar bans.
This proposal would have explicitly prohibited public schools from discriminating against any student on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. It also would have protected students who associate with LGBTQ people, including students with LGBTQ parents or friends.
All 2016 Legislation
All 2015 Legislation
AB 1951, authored by Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez, would modernize California birth certificates by allowing parents to choose to self-designate as “father,” “mother” or “parent,” eliminating inaccurate designations and confusion for same-sex parents.
AB 2501, authored by Assemblymember Susan Bonilla, would eliminate the so-called “gay panic” and “trans panic” defenses, outrageous tactics used by defendants who claim their violent acts were triggered by the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
SB 840, authored by Senator Ricardo Lara, moves forward on recommendations from 2013’s statewide audit on school safety and nondiscrimination laws, to hold schools accountable for documenting responses to bullying and referring students to appropriate services.
SB 323 ensures nonprofit youth organizations that receive special state tax privileges comply with California’s nondiscrimination laws. Specifically, this bill revokes the special tax status rewarded to nonprofit youth organizations should they violate our state’s nondiscrimination laws.
SB 1306, authored by Senator Mark Leno, brings California statutory law into line with last June’s Supreme Court decision restoring the freedom to marry in California. References to “husband” and “wife” would be replaced with gender-neutral language such as “spouse” to recognize all married couples throughout California code.
Assembly Bill 496 clarifies that existing cultural competency training for health care providers should include discussion of LGBT issues. Also appoints a representative of the LGBT community to an existing task force on cultural competency for health care providers.
AB 1577, the Respect After Death Act, authored by Assemblymember Toni Atkins, would make sure death certificates for transgender Californians accurately reflect their authentic, lived identity.
Clarifies that nonprofit youth organizations will only be rewarded with special tax exemptions if they comply with California’s existing nondiscrimination laws.
AB 1266 addresses the exclusion of transgender students from classes and activities, and clarifies existing anti-discrimination law to provide clear protections to transgender students.
Provides an exemption from state taxes for additional income an employer provides to an employee to make up for federal taxes the employee would otherwise pay to add a registered domestic partner or same-sex spouse (and/or their dependents) to insurance plans.
Simplifies the process required for a name change to reflect a person’s gender identity, as well as ensuring that a person’s identity documents reflect his or her gender identity accurately, particularly death certificates.
Clarifies that existing cultural competency training for health care providers should include discussion of LGBT issues. Also appoints an representative of the LGBT community to an existing task force on cultural competency for health care providers.
Ensures that administrators of residential care facilities have an additional five hours of training in cultural competency and sensitivity in aging lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues.
Ensures that the LGBT community is counted in California through health insurance eligibility application forms, which is an important step toward reducing the disparities the LGBT community faces in access to and quality of health services.
Urges the federal government to act on this issue, and serve as an example for other states to follow as we continue to champion support for veterans’ rights.
Urges CalPERS and CalSTRS not to invest future resources from their pension plans in Russia.
For decades, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people—particularly youth—have suffered psychological abuse by those who are entrusted to care for their emotional and psychological well-being. It’s long past time to do everything in our power to put an end to the use of tactics that have no sound scientific basis and that cause lifelong damage.
Few things are more devastating to a child than being removed from his or her parents. Yet, for LGBT youth in foster care, this devastation is often compounded by placements in foster homes that are at best ill-equipped to care for LGBT kids or at worst hostile to LGBT people. AB 1856 will help to provide comfort, safety and support to LGBT foster youth by creating LGBT cultural competency standards that foster homes housing LGBT youth must meet.
For years, EQCA and our partners have worked to advance policies to make LGBT youth safer and better supported at school. Some schools have done a laudable job implementing these policies and protecting LGBT youth. Others have failed to do the job. This request to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee asks the state auditor to conduct a review of all school districts across the state and evaluate the degree to which they are complying with existing laws that protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students from discrimination and harassment.
Under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, LGB service members and their families made tremendous sacrifices, but without the support and recognition afforded to the families of other service members. AB 1505 (Pan) will guarantee that all California service members who were discharged from the military for no reason other than their sexual orientation are eligible for all state benefits for veterans and their families such as home loans, college tuition fee waivers and preference for civil service examinations.
The death of a lifelong partner is traumatic. But under current law, that trauma can be worsened by property tax penalties that apply unequally to same-sex partners, especially impacting LGBT seniors. AB 1700 (Butler) will ensure that no LGBT person is put at risk of losing the home that he or she has built over a lifetime with a loved one.
For many loving, committed couples, having a child and building a family is one of the most important and fundamental keys to happiness. Unfortunately, same-sex couples face many barriers in forming families—including unequal access to fertility health care. AB 2356 (Skinner) will ensure that women in same-sex relationships can access fertility services on the same terms as women in opposite-sex relationships.
As we continue our efforts to achieve full equality, we must remove every possible barrier to securing the freedom to marry, including the false claim made by anti-equality advocates in California and elsewhere that allowing loving same-sex couples to marry will force clergy or places of worship to compromise their religious beliefs. As we anticipate the restoration of the freedom to marry in our state, SB 1140 (Leno) reaffirms the principles of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution with respect to the freedom of clergy to make faith-based decisions regarding which marriages they solemnize.